[image credit Gary]
I've gathered a half wheelbarrow with the prospects for another. Plus Mister Tristan (the 7 year old human being, not the blog), has gathered about a half 5-gal bucket's worth. I hired him at 10 cents per walnut, but he kinda lost focus and motivation after about 50 or so.
He'll be here again in a couple days to renew the effort. Oh, and the local squirrels benefit from the pile I will leave them. They in turn will carry many of the walnuts back into my yard, following their instincts to bury them in the grass, flower beds, and any planters I don't bring in for the winter. Any walnuts they don't recover for food later will eventually sprout, yielding a robust crop of walnut seedlings next spring.
The walnuts have to be gathered up, otherwise the lawnmower whacks them and sprays juicy green and black pieces all over (they stain, big time!). Plus walking barefoot on walnuts is not too much fun.
Note that I have a similar acorn "problem" elsewhere on the estate with my treasured White Oak--this year its acorn production is also off the charts. It's like trying to walk on marbles.